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Possibilism: Crash Course #2

“Possibilism, while accepting that physical environments have some affect on the outcomes for human social orders, they’re not the only factor by a long shot. Today, we’re talking about human agency, and the Human Geographers who developed the ideas that make up possibilism. Individuals and groups make the decisions that shape their societies, and while the world sometimes shapes these social orders, people also increasingly affect their world in return.”


Just like that first Crash Course video on  environmental determinism, this video on environmental possibilism treats complex ideas in a cut-and-dry manner.  All the videos in Crash Course human geography series have an incredibly quick pace and these particular ideas need nuancing and (for most students) time to frame the factors and issues at hand. So if this is someone’s first introduction to environmental possibilism or determinism, they are likely to be both overwhelmed and given a slanted perspective on the topic.  I’m still holding out hope for when this series reaches the thematic content of human geography instead of the theoretical underpinnings of past geographical philosophies.


Tags: crash course, environmental determinism, environmentAPHG, video.    

Environmental Determinism: Crash Course #1

Today we’re talking about how Human Geography has been practiced in the past, how it hitched its wagon to some really bad ideas, and how that kind of thinking still persists in the world today. Basically, we’re starting with a lesson in how not to Human Geographize. Which I don’t think is a real word.


This isn’t exactly what I was hoping for when I heard news of that Crash Course was producing a series of human geography videos, but still has tons of value.  This video on environmental determinism will raise as many questions as it answers.  Personally, I think it is too dismissive of geographers (such as Jared Diamond) than is fair, but there is lot of good in the video and enough in it to feel that this series has some strong potential for the future.  For APHG, it also make be feel optimistic about the future that “we’ve made it to the big leagues” in others eyes and are here to stay.    


Tags: crash course, environmental determinism, unit 1 GeoPrinciples, environmentAPHG, video.    

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